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FOCUS ON THE BACKROADS: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church High Hill, Texas (Schulenburg)

In the early 1860’s during the European immigration several families of Austrian and German descent  settled in High Hill.  They were searching for religious freedom and opportunities in the new world – they were some of the lucky ones that settled in THE LONE STAR STATE!  Life was not easy for these early Texans.. they had travel to nearby cities to celebrate mass and important church holidays.  In I869 construction for  the first church using  lumber that was hauled there from Columbus, Texas by ox-wagons.    On September 8, 1870 the first Catholic church of High Hill was blessed.  As the community grew the second church of High Hill was completed in 1875.  The first church building was converted to a school that stayed open until 1922.

The St Mary Church of today is the third church to be built on the original nine acres that was deeded to the church in 1868.  The current Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church is one of the first churches built by noted Texas architect, Leo M.J. Dielmann.  It was build in 1906. Dielmann had just completed his architecture studies in Germany and designed a classic gothic revival structure.  Many of the materials used were from the old church.  The original 18 stainless windows from the second church were placed into the present church.  On September 8, 1906 , the new brick church of High Hill was blessed and the cornerstone was put in place.  The final decoration, artwork and wall and ceiling  decorations were note completed until 1912.  Three bells from the second church were place in the bell tower and remain operational today.  North of the present church is a amazing marble cross surrounded by cedar trees.  The cross placed there in 1891.

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church is know as the “Queen of the Painted Churches” and is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.   This Church is just another of the wonderful destinations to visit in Texas.  There are a number of the other famous Painted Churches in the neighboring town – making this a great weekend or day adventure

High Hill, Texas is located on Farm Road 2672, three miles from Schulenburg, Texas.


“Life is just a schoolroom with a glorious opportunity to prepare us for eternity”    Billy Graham

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